Jeffery Day

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Miles Jeffery Game Day DSC (1 December 1896 – 27 February 1918) was an English war poet, killed in an air battle towards the end of World War I over the sea. The account of his death by his commanding officer stated

" he was shot down by six German aircraft which he attacked single-handed, out to sea. He had out-distanced his flight, I think because he wished to break the [enemy's] formation, in order to make it easier for the less experienced people behind him to attack. He hit the enemy and they hit his machine, which burst into flames ; but, not a bit flurried, he nose-dived, flattened out, and landed perfectly on the water. He climbed out of his machine and waved his fellow-pilots back to their base ; being in aeroplanes [not sea- planes] they could not assist him."

He was born in St. Ives, Huntingdonshire, and educated at Repton School. He joined the Royal Naval Air Service, being commissioned in 1914 and rising to an acting rank of flight-commander.[1] He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross a newspaper report stated "He destroyed several enemy machines in a short space of time, and in addition had numerous indecisive engagements." [2] It is said that he wrote poetry whilst flying, but as he wrote in a notebook, describing his attempt to write a verse about his first flight,"...anyhow, why write verses when you might be flying?"[3]

Works[edit]

  • Poems and Rhymes (1919) Text available from [1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ CWGC entry
  2. ^ London Gazette, 6 March 1918.
  3. ^ Poems and Rhymes p.65